Shutterdown strike: the aftermath of Peshawar School Attack

Peshawar will remain closed today [31st December] in the result of 16/12 Action Committee formed to strongly condemn the Peshawar Army Public School Attack on the 16th of December that killed 132 and wounded 126 school children, staff members and security personnel.

The rallies, gatherings, candle lighting, school children prayers programs were not only arranged across Pashtunkhwa [the Pashtun historical land in Pakistan], Pakistan and region. It was even condemned in the Indian [a nation which Pakistan has fought for 3 wars with over Kashmir disputed territory] parliament and a message from their Premier Narendar Modi who had called PM Nawaz Sharif and had condoled with him. The same was condolence message from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and their Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.

This massacre was followed by condolence and condemning messages and statements from leader around the world whether it is United Nations secretary General Ban Ki-moon, American President Barak Obama. The Gulf leadership and their Organization of Islamic Countries would be arranging their meeting for promoting peace will be held in Peshawar, came through news organizations.

As I write these lines; got a text message from a female right and social activist Sanna Ejaz, a leading figure in the Khyber Pashtunkhwa civil society members being arrested by the Police after a baton charge on the Peshawar strike observer.

The Khyber Pashtunkhwa government is led by Imran Khan a cricketer turned politician, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf. Whose party had the 4 month longer sit ins and strikes across Pakistan to down the currently elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. But the said party is quick to arrest the social and political activists who are literally aware lot condemning Pakistan’s double standard in foreign policies toward Afghanistan and rest of the neighboring states. The political and social activists have also expressed concerns over the role of Pakistan labeling Taliban as “good and bad”.

Sanna says, “I am not hurt but we are kept in jail after we had started our peaceful strike against the Peshawar massacre”. She adds she’s never afraid of such arrest and will keep her struggle go on.

“Many of our activists are arrested across Peshawar as they were out for shutter down strike”, she adds.

The Khyber Pashtunkhwa civil society, Pashtun nationalist political parties were the first who condemned the attack across Pakistan.

Pakistan as a nation condemned the killing for the first time; otherwise there were many ifs and buts whenever the militant organization would kill the innocent masses from Khyber Pashtunkhwa, Federally Administrative Areas, Balochistan and Pashtuns living in Sindh. And if human rights and media organization shows the figure dead in the last decade only from Pashtun areas is from 50 to 70 thousands. Most of them are targeted in the same kind of massacres whether it was targeted killing of 12 hundred Pashtun elders from Tribal areas or the suicide bombing attacks on the masses of Khyber Pashtunkhwa, Balochistan and Karachi [the religious militant wings were targeting the populations of Pashtuns in Karachi in particular, sometimes they would claim killing of others too].

Some half a dozen operations across the above stated areas were launched and at the same time followed by different agreements between Pakistan Army and the outlawed militant organization Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan. The main deals areThe Shakai Peace Agreement, April 2004, Srarogha Peace Agreement, February 2005, The Swat Agreement, May 2008 and then the 2014 Government and Taliban peace talks”. I don’t want to go in details of the agreements but these were the land marks that were followed by the deadliest terror attacks on masses.

Where these Taliban come from and who provided them sanctuaries; is a bigger question.

Taliban had captured Afghanistan after the deadly Afghan Civil war [supported by US & allies via Pakistan]. The October 7, 2001 Nato and US led operation on Taliban regime [1996-2001]. The Taliban regime called “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” came in to American notice after 9/11 deadly attack by AlQaeda militants on World Trade Center Twin Towers. The AlQaeda militants who had found their sanctuaries under Taliban regime claimed the attack in a video message from the organization chief Osama Binladen. The hard line AlQaeda and Taliban were allies sharing the same ideology of “Sharia Law”. The Taliban regime head, emir of the faithful Mullah Muhammad Omer had rejected any suggestion of handing over AlQaeda leader to US and closing AlQaeda sanctuaries active across Afghanistan.

The Pakistani civilian government and then military regime was the stronger supporter of Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan was among the three nations [including Saudi Arabia and UAE] who had recognized “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”.

So a crackdown against Taliban and AlQaeda showed them way to enter Federally Administered Tribal Areas and stayed there as Muslim brothers and guests. Though, the people of FATA are not aware of these people but always claim that the political agent and Pakistani establishment were their main facilitators to settle them in safe heavens across Fata. At the same time they [militants] were given the same facilities of safe heavens in Khyber Pashtunkhwa, Balochistan and Karachi. These organizations including AlQaeda, Afghan Taliban, Haqqani Network organized their attacks back inside Afghanistan.

Pakistan pursued its policy of the so called strategic depth and interference in Afghanistan was though not under a complete cover. Though it was in an alliance of war on terror that showed it’s double faced policy after the AlQaeda top leader Osama Binladen was killed in a US navy seal raid under the nose of Pakistan Army’s top academy in Abbottabad just miles away from capital city Islamabad.

Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan announced its formal organization under the leadership of Pakistani Taliban [a group once active as supporters of Afghan Taliban & then bounded themselves with AlQaeda] leader Baitullah Mehsud in 2007. The said organization called for a holy war in Pakistan and started the same kind of activities they were pursuing against coalition and Afghan forces in Afghanistan. That killed thousands of people and their last but not the least attack on Peshawar was another that angered the Pakistani politicians and military leadership to launch an operation against all “Good and Bad Taliban”.

The Pakistan Army operation has caused the hang to death of some of the former Pakistani military members and others who were involved in attacking Pakistan’s strategic points like GHQs and former army ruler Gen (R) Perver Musharaf. But the reality of the operation is yet waited whether resulting true or false. As Punjab based wanted militant organizations that are a power house for global militancy are yet not touched nor are the Afghan Taliban asked to stop their organizational work using Pakistani soil as sanctuary.

So many if and buts are used in TV talk shows by political and military leadership. Their clear stance would emerge by the passage of time.

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